This came much earlier today, but I was away from my computer for most of the day so I’m posting it now. NBC is crowing about the overnight ratings for the three NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games it aired this weekend.
Sunday’s Game 3 annihilation of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the hand of the Philadelphia Flyers saw the best Conference Quarterfinal overnight rating in 11 years and overall, NBC averaged a 50% increase in the numbers from the same weekend last year.
In contrast to last year, NBC aired three games in 2012 instead of two in 2011. The average rating for the three games on the Peacock was a 1.8 compared to a lowly 1.2 last year.
And Flyers-Penguins garnered a 2.3 overnight rating and it’s the best rating for a NHL Conference Quarterfinal game on ABC dating back to 2001. Amazing, huh?
Here’s the press release from NBC Sports.
Sunday’s Flyers-Penguins Registers Best Quarterfinal Overnight in 11 Years; Best for Any Playoff Game in 10 Years, excluding Stanley Cup Final
NEW YORK – April 16, 2012 – Three NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games on NBC this past weekend averaged a 50% increase in overnight ratings compared to last year’s coverage on the network, according to official overnight ratings data released today by The Nielsen Company. The increase includes Sunday’s Flyers-Penguins game on NBC, which posted the best Conference Quarterfinal game in 11 years and the best for any NHL playoff game, excluding the Stanley Cup Final, in a decade.
This past weekend’s three games on NBC – Capitals-Bruins on Saturday, Predators-Red Wings in the early window on Sunday, and Penguins-Flyers in the late window on Sunday – combined for a 1.8 overnight rating, up 50% compared to two games broadcast on the same weekend on NBC last year, which averaged a 1.2 overnight.
PENGUINS-FLYERS: The Flyers 8-4 victory over the intra-state rival Penguins on Sunday registered a 2.3 overnight rating, up 77% compared to last year’s comparable game (Capitals-Rangers; 1.3 overnight) and making it the best overnight rating for a Conference Quarterfinal game in 11 years (4/21/01; ABC regional; 2.5), and the best for any NHL playoff game, excluding the Stanley Cup Final, in a decade (5/18/02; ABC, Avalanche-Red Wings Conference Final; 2.4).
CAPITALS-BRUINS: The Capitals 2-1 double-overtime win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins on Saturday produced a 1.5 overnight rating, up 36% compared to last year’s comparable game (Coyotes-Red Wings; 1.1 overnight).
PREDATORS-RED WINGS: The Predators 3-2 win over the Red Wings on Sunday generated a 1.5 overnight rating, which is up 36% compared to the NHL regular-season overnight average on NBC, excluding the Winter Classic and Thanksgiving Friday game. There is no network comparison to last year as NBC only broadcast two games the first weekend of the playoffs. This is the first year in NHL history that all playoff games are being shown nationally.
MOMENTUM CONTINUES: The NBC overnight results for 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs are consistent with ratings increases experienced by the NBC Sports Network. Through two days of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs (the only national data available at this time), NBC Sports Network’s viewership is up 22% compared to the first two days of last year’s playoffs (600,000 vs. 490,000).
Wednesday’s and Thursday’s combined coverage of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on both NBC Sports Network and CNBC had a total audience of 5.37 million viewers, a 31% increase vs. last year, when NBC Sports Network (formerly VERSUS) was the only channel to show games (4.11 million).